A “touch of class”. Horse-dragoon and crow-nest: my new 2019 attempt around the North West passage..

Spring 2019 at last!  Breskell is waiting for us in Newfoundland.  I hope our Canadian friends took good care of her in the Royal Yacht Club of St John’s, the NF capital.

Last year,  the gates of the North West Passage stayed close all summer long.  No private boat went through those famous (or infamous) waters. Except for an aluminium one.  Unlucky sailboaters.  The boat sank, her crew being lifted up from one drifting iceberg by the Canadian Coast Guard. Don’t push your luck too much in those places. 

Aluminium or cold molded epoxy? If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time…

We turned around and headed back to St John’s.  Disappointed but safe.

Unfortunately Dom our fantastic film-maker will not be with us this year.  We will all miss him. A last minute change of mind?

Eric my highly appreciated “navy seal in training”…  my right arm…

Eric, our french engineer is back.  A trusted, calm,  confident and sympathetic close associate.  A needed creative spirit.   “Jack of all trades”, Eric is also an electronic mastermind. My beloved “navy seal in training”, my right arm!  Many thanks again Eric.

New on board this year with us?

Leila is coming from France and Joshua from Seattle.

Leila will take charge of the provisioning and will manage the galley.  An essential assignment when you are weeks away from any groceries or other “taken for granted” facilities.  Do you want to fail  miserably in this kind of “far-out” expedition?  Just manage badly this essential assignment.  Angry and hungry, your crew will mutiny and hang the captain on the mainmast. I plan to avoid this unpleasant situation .

All our communication needs will be in Joshua’s hands.

I know we have quite a few followers and close to 9 000 views on this blog.  And for that, let me thank you again.

Breskell positioning and progresses?

Media interactions and  magazine articles?

Joshua is going to keep all of our followers happy!

Now, what about our 2019 campaign ?

Please don’t forget to support my gofundme  effort to raise some money. I chose to avoid massive publicity for a quiet and peaceful reading  in this blog.

Contribute to my gofundme 2019 campaign

Two spectacular improvements this year.

First my new ice-shield on the bow.

Remember our little “mishap” of last year ?

A damn « blow », a stormy sea and a dark place; I hit a big growler punching two notable holes in my bow.  Today, I am still furious against myself.  I hurt my beloved Breskell, almost sank her with my crew onboard.  My companions said it was just plain bad luck, not my fault…No one even panicked.

You can feel their trust, compassion and unconditional support in our superb documentary “Breskell” filmed live by Dominic Joyce.

In very difficult time, a quiet support

Personally, I was not happy at all with my job.  We patched the boat and sailed to our next harbour : Arctic Bay.

I swore to myself:  “Never again!”

I designed and constructed an 6’X2’6″ solid aluminum shield protecting my wooden bow.  And guess what?  Two beloved full time land-based crew members, my beautiful wife Corinne and our precious daughter Aziliz took charge of the shield painting.  Not your usual utilitarian and banal marine job.

A masterpiece!

Breskell with my horse-dragoon ice shield

Look at my horse-dragoon bulwark.  Imagine this piece of art in place on the bow of « Breskell »

A gift from my wife and my daughter for good luck

Neptune, or his northern counterpart Njörd are going to be flabergasted.  And sure, in front of my galloping “horse- dragoon”, they will open this year the gate of heaven for Breskell.  Well, at least the door of my heaven :  the North West Passage!

And second what about my new “crow-nest”?

Modern version of an ancien pirate crow-nest

Every kid remembers these old and ferocious looking one-eyed pirates sailing their galleons on the Caribbean seas.  They kept a close watch with «spy glasses » looking for enemies or  preys.  For better views, they perched inside a strange barrel high on one spreader along the mast. In Nunavut, there is no more prey.  Hunting whales or narvals is prohibited today in Canada.  Still, our enemies are plentiful and all around: icebergs and growlers by the thousands.  Some in plain view, others lurking in dark places under stormy water, they are all waiting to punch and destroy my poor wooden “Breskell”.  No better setting than my brand new crow-nest to spy securely upon their erratic movements and their vicious attacks.

My good friend Walt preparing  the crow-nest

Protecting her inner wood with a knife ice-shield working like a spur , with her galloping horse-dragoon offerings to the northern sea gods and with her modern crow nest, we are now ready for our next successful attempt.  Almost ready.

Walt careful  adjustment… my life up there is also on the line!

This time, we added a “touch of class” rarely seen in those frigid waters.

Wife, daughter and very good friend Walt from “Golden Comet LTD”, you all did an outstanding job.  I owe you a great deal.  You will all be sailing very close to my heart.  You will share my daily dreams during this « one in a lifetime »  North West Passage.

A touch of class !

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